Quotes by Buddha

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Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. 

An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. 

In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true. 

The tongue like a sharp knife… Kills without drawing blood. 

The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart. 

There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it. 

There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills. 

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. 

Believe nothing, O monks, merely because you have been told it or because it is traditional, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide. 

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned. 

Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide. 

Temperance is a tree which as for its root very little contentment, and for its fruit calm and peace. 

If a man who enjoys a lesser happiness beholds a greater one, let him leave aside the lesser to gain the greater. 

I reached in experience the nirvana which is unborn, unrivalled, secure from attachment, undecaying and unstained. This condition is indeed reached by me which is deep, difficult to see, difficult to understand, tranquil, excellent, beyond the reach of mere logic, subtle, and to be realized only by the wise. 

A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. 

It is wrong to think that misfortunes come from the east or from the west; they originate within one’s own mind. Therefore, it is foolish to guard against misfortunes from the external world and leave the inner mind uncontrolled. 

Fashion your life as a garland of beautiful deeds. 

Never in this world can hatred be stilled by hatred; it will be stilled only by non-hatred – this is the law of eternal. 

Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law. 

This life of separateness may be compared to a dream, a phantasm, a bubble, a shadow, a drop of dew, a flash of lightning. 

On life’s journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him. 

Love the whole world as a mother lovers her only child. 

Meditation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom. 

There is nothing so disobedient as an undisciplined mind, and there is nothing so obedient as a disciplined mind. 

‘He insulted me, he cheated me, he beat me, he robbed me’ – those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace. 

You cannot travel on the path until you become the path itself. 

Let the wise guard their thoughts, which are difficult to perceive, extremely subtle, and wander at will. Thought which is well guarded is the bearer of happiness. 

As the Fletcher whittles and makes straight his arrows, so the master directs his straying thoughts. 

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become. 

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind. 

They are not following dharma who resort to violence to achieve their purpose. But those who lead others through nonviolent means, knowing right and wrong, may be called guardians of the dharma. 

Follow then the shining ones, the wise, the awakened, the loving, for they know how to work and forbear. 

As irrigators lead water where they want, as archers make their arrows straight, as carpenters carve wood, the wise shape their minds. 

Like a beautiful flower full of color, but without scent, are the fine but fruitless words of him who does not act accordingly. 

Cut out the love of self, like an autumn lotus with thy hand! 

Let no man think lightly of good, saying in his heart, It will not benefit me. Even by the falling of waterdrops a water-pot is filled; the wise man becomes full of good, even if he gather it little by little. 

Temperance is a tree which has for a root very little contentment, and for fruit, calm and peace. 

Who ever lives looking for pleasure only, his senses uncontrolled, immoderate in his enjoyments, idle and weak, the tempter will certainly overcome him, as the wind blows down a weak tree. 

His success may be great, but be it ever so great the wheel of fortune may turn again and bring him down into the dust. 

If there be one righteous person, the rain falls for his sake. 

If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him. 

To do a little good is more than to accomplish great conquests. 

All that we are is the result of what we have thought; it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of him who draws the carriage. 

If a man offend a harmless, pure, and innocent person, the evil falls back upon that fool, like light dust thrown up against the wind. 

Hatred does not cease by hatred at any time; hatred ceases by love; this is an old rule. 

Let a man avoid evil deeds as a man who loves life avoids poison. 

Be vigilant; guard your mind against negative thoughts. 

If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way. 

The thought manifests as the word; The word manifests as the deed; The deed develops into habit; And habit hardens into character; So watch the thought and its ways with care, And let it spring from love Born out of concern for all beings? As the shadow follows the body, As we think, so we become. 

Hatred does not cease in this world by hating, but by not hating; this is an eternal truth. 

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it. 

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful. 

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – even if I have said it – unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. 

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. 

Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. 

If you wish to know the divine, feel the wind on your face and the warm sun on your hand. 

To him in whom love dwells, the whole world is but one family. 

Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom. 

When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky. 

But truly, Ananda, it is nothing strange that human beings should die. 

Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation. 

This is deathless, the liberation of the mind through lack of clinging. 

Behold now, Bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to decay. Strive with diligence! 

I spit on my life. Death in battle would be better for me than that I, defeated, survive. 

That army of yours, that the world with its devas can’t overcome, I will smash with discernment 

I will go about, from kingdom to kingdom, training many disciples. They – heedful, resolute doing my teachings – despite your wishes, will go where, having gone, there’s no grief. 

Open are the doors to the Deathless to those with ears. Let them show their conviction. 

In a world become blind, I beat the drum of the Deathless. 

Conquerors are those like me who have reached fermentations’ end. I’ve conquered evil qualities, and so, Upaka, I’m a conqueror 

To cease from evil, to do good, and to purify the mind yourself, this is the teaching of all the Buddhas. 

Can there be joy and laughter When always the world is ablaze? Enshrouded in darkness Should you not seek a light? 

And this, monks, is the noble truth of the origination of dukkha: the craving that makes for further becoming – accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there – i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming. 

True charity occurs only when there are no notions of giving, giver, or gift. 

We forgive principally for our own sake, so that we may cease to bear the burden of rancour. 

Rather than continuing to seek the truth, simply let go of your views. 

Through zeal knowledge is gotten, through lack of zeal knowledge is lost; let a man who knows this double path of gain and loss thus place himself that knowledge may grow. 

Ye must leave righteous ways behind, not to speak of unrighteous ways. 

Decay is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence. 

Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. 

Our theories of the eternal are as valuable as are those which a chick which has not broken its way through its shell might form of the outside world. 

A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure. 

Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed. 

We are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them. 

A man should first direct himself in the way he should go. Only then should he instruct others. 

Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes. 

Whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide. 

The Buddhas do but tell the way; it is for you to swelter at the task. 

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. 

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. 

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. 

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. 

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him. 

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. 

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. 

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. 

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. 

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. 

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life. 

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. 

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell. 

To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent. 

It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways. 

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue. 

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill. 

Without health life is not life; it is only a state of langour and suffering – an image of death. 

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. 

It is better to travel well than to arrive. 

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace. 

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world. 

In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves. 

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind. 

Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others. 

To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance. 

Unity can only be manifested by the Binary. Unity itself and the idea of Unity are already two. 

When one has the feeling of dislike for evil, when one feels tranquil, one finds pleasure in listening to good teachings; when one has these feelings and appreciates them, one is free of fear. 

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? 

He who loves 50 people has 50 woes; he who loves no one has no woes. 

The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows. 

Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule. 

Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence. 

I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done. 

The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground. 

I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act. 

What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? What’s the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood? 

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely. 

Virtue is persecuted more by the wicked than it is loved by the good. 

A jug fills drop by drop. 

Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace. 

The virtues, like the Muses, are always seen in groups. A good principle was never found solitary in any breast. 

All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain? 

The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve. 

A woman of the world is anxious to exhibit her form and shape, whether walking, standing, sitting, or sleeping. Even when represented as a picture, she desires to captivate with the charms of her beauty and, thus, to rob men of their steadfast heart. 

I am not the first Buddha who came upon Earth, nor shall I be the last. In due time, another Buddha will arise in the world – a Holy One, a supremely enlightened One, endowed with wisdom in conduct, auspicious, knowing the universe, an incomparable leader of men, a master of angels and mortals. 

The foolish man conceives the idea of ‘self.’ The wise man sees there is no ground on which to build the idea of ‘self;’ thus, he has a right conception of the world and well concludes that all compounds amassed by sorrow will be dissolved again, but the truth will remain. 

Charity bestowed upon those who are worthy of it is like good seed sown on a good soil that yields an abundance of fruits. But alms given to those who are yet under the tyrannical yoke of the passions are like seed deposited in a bad soil. The passions of the receiver of the alms choke, as it were, the growth of merits. 

He who gives away shall have real gain. He who subdues himself shall be free; he shall cease to be a slave of passions. The righteous man casts off evil, and by rooting out lust, bitterness, and illusion do we reach Nirvana. 

Of those beings who live in ignorance, shut up and confined, as it were, in an egg, I have first broken the eggshell of ignorance and alone in the universe obtained the most exalted, universal Buddhahood. 

The mind is everything. What you think you become. 

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. 

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. 

What we think, we become. 

With fools, there is no companionship. Rather than to live with men who are selfish, vain, quarrelsome, and obstinate, let a man walk alone. 

Sensual passions are your first enemy. 

Whatever is felt is within suffering. 

Everything changes, nothing remains without change. 

Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds. 

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